An Interesting Word – Snickersnee

It is the Council of Elrond. Frodo has just told the Council he will take the Ring to Mordor, and Gandalf has agreed to help him see it done. Suddenly, Aragorn stands up and says, “If by my life or death I can protect you, I will. You have my snickersnee!” Wait a minute. That’s not exactly what happened, is it? You, the viewer of all Middle Earth movies, would protest. What is Aragorn talking about? Is he speaking in Elvish? Aragorn could pledge his life, honor, or sword, but his snickersnee?

Well, it turns out that if Aragorn had pledged his snickersnee to protect Frodo, he would have been correct. A snickersnee, according to The Free Online Dictionary, is an archaic word that means “a knife resembling a sword” or “the act of fighting with knives.” According to, the term snickersnee was first used in the 1690’s and comes from the term “snick-or-snee” which was in turn derived from the Dutch phrase “steken of snijden” meaning to stick and to cut. 

There’s a Louis Carroll poem, Jabberwocky, that mentions something similar to snickersnee, a snicker-snack.

“One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.”

There’s also another quote that includes a snickersnee from W. S. Gilbert in The Mikado.

“Oh, never shall I / Forget the cry, / Or the shriek that shrieked he, / As I gnashed my teeth, / When from its sheath / I drew my snickersnee!”

Here’s a video that includes the definitions of some other interesting words, including snickersnee:

Since you can’t have too much Lord of the Rings, I included the extended edition Council of Elrond scene. Just imagine Aragorn saying, “You have my snickersnee!.” 😉

If you’d like to know more about this cool word, you can read about it here:

If you have a unquenchable desire to own a snickersnee, then I have great news for you! You can buy one off of Ebay!

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

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